The widespread use of social media has changed our society, particularly in terms of our ability to communicate and share information with friends, family and even strangers. People routinely post information and pictures about every facet of their lives. While this permits social media users to share daily experiences with loved ones and others, the lack of privacy can have a downside. Insurance companies now routinely review social media sites for information that can be used against a claim or to avoid or minimize liability for a claim. Insurance carriers might even attempt to send you a message or email through your social media page. Although the risk is greater if you are the injury victim involved in an accident pursuing a claim, a policyholder making a homeowners claim can still compromise an insurance claim with social media activity.
If you have filed an insurance claim arising from damage to your home, the best alternative is to temporarily take down your social media page or suspend all social media activity. At a minimum, you must use extreme caution when posting and have a clear understanding that whatever you do post could be used as evidence against you.
Some of the ways that social media activity can derail your insurance claim are as follows:
Evidence Regarding Mitigation: An insured who files a property damage claim has a duty to mitigate damages by undertaking temporary repairs to prevent further damage to their home after a loss. These mitigation measures might include covering broken out windows, using tarps or plastic to prevent water penetration through a leaky roof or other measures to prevent increased damage to your home. If you post pictures after a bad storm or damage to your home, the insurer might argue that the photos prove that you failed to mitigate your damages.
Pre-Existing Damage: The insurance company might scour photos posted on your social media page for evidence of prior damage to your home.
Evidence of Negligence: Insurance companies frequently use claims of neglected maintenance issues as a basis to deny claims. Insurers might look for pictures on your social media site that support a claim that your failure to perform ordinary upkeep and repairs caused the damage to your home.
Improper Repairs: While you are required to perform maintenance on your home, an insurance company might deny your claim if your negligent repairs caused the damage. Sometimes homeowners attempt to jerry-rig a repair. The insurance company might use photos showing such inadequate repairs as the cause of a loss.
Ambiguous Statements: If your home is damaged by a hurricane, fire or other peril, this will be a significant life event that you might be expected to talk about on your social media page. The insurance company will look for statements that compromise your claim. The insurer also might twist your statements on social media to undermine your claim.
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].